A Survey of UK‐Based Ethical and Sustainable Fund Managers’ Investment Processes Addressing Plastics in the Environment

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Some ethical and sustainable fund managers have reflected concern about plastic pollution in their investment selections. A questionnaire was designed to explore their commitment for addressing this issue within their investment policies, rather than short‐term initiatives. Twelve selected UK‐based fund management firms covering 20 funds deemed to have superior ethical investment policies completed the questionnaire.

The results suggest that while efforts are being made, the commitment by fund managers to address plastics may be somewhat weak. Plastics may not be taken as seriously as more traditional ethical and sustainability issues such as the “sextet of sin,” animal rights, and fossil divestment. Activity appears to focus on company engagement, which runs a risk of being short term in character.

Specific recommendations have been made to strengthen ethical and sustainable fund managers’ investment policies on plastics. The findings and recommendations of this chapter should enable fund managers to take an active role in supporting wider efforts to address the damaging effects of plastic waste, the chemical toxicity threats it poses, and its harmful effects on wildlife and sea creatures, and they are also supported by several broader policy recommendations.

Q Rayer (2020), A Survey of UK-Based Ethical and Sustainable Fund Managers’ Investment Processes Addressing Plastics in the Environment. In: Walker T., Goubran S., Sprung-Much, N. (eds) Environmental Policy: An Economic Perspective. Wiley-Blackwell, Print ISBN 978-1-119-40259-6, On-line ISBN: 978-1-119-40255-8. Ch 16, p269-297. DOI 10.1002/9781119402619.